Today the world lost a great man in the arts…

Written by Tania Giorgetta

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“You’re only given one little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”    Robin Williams.

Today is a dark day for the arts. This morning we all woke up to some terrible news.   At first I thought it was a hoax but then as the news articles mounted up, reality set in.  Mr Robin Williams; actor extraordinaire, comic genius, intelligent and emotional artist, philanthropist and brilliant man had passed away overnight.  In a suspected suicide.

Even when typing those words it is hard to believe.

I didn’t know Robin Williams personally.  I only know what I have seen of him on the big screen at the cinema and the small screen in my lounge room, yet somehow it feels like we have lost a friend.
This time it feels personal, tangible, real.

I, like so many people, grew up watching his movies.  “Dead Poets Society” came out when I was 10 and it was one of the first ‘grownup’ movies I ever watched.  I remember watching it with my Dad and I remember being really moved.   I don’t think I understood the whole movie at the time but I did understand that it was special and it did spark a love affair in me with the written word.
“Good Will Hunting” had a similar effect, moving and poignant.
I also cried when I saw “Patch Adams;” what a beautiful film.  The thing that made it so beautiful was Williams’ portrayal of the fun loving, albeit slightly crazy, doctor.
“Mrs Doubtfire” made me laugh and cry in equal amounts as Robin Williams brought a tenderness to the screen that I can’t imagine anyone else doing so honestly and so whole-heartedly.
I laughed along in “The Birdcage” and I cheered for the Genie in “Aladdin.”
These are my memories of a wonderfully funny yet touching man who excelled at his craft.

My husband can remember Mork and Mindy.  He can remember watching episodes and laughing. He can also remember saying “Gooood morning Vietnam!!!” over and over. We all have our memories.
That’s the thing about Robin Williams, he touched so many.   He transcended age barriers and generational boundaries with his varied and remarkable roles. He was loved by so many fans, this is evident on Twitter, Facebook and the other social media channels today as the tributes roll in.

I guess that’s one of the things that is so difficult to fathom, for someone who gave so many laughs,  he was obviously in so much pain.  For someone who was loved by so many he must have felt very alone.  Sometimes those who shine the brightest on the outside, are the ones who are hurting the deepest on the inside.

Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire and Patch Adams.
Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire and Patch Adams.

It is being reported that Robin Williams’ death was an apparent suicide.  He was suffering from depression and obviously could see no other way out.
I have never had depression, I am lucky.
I cannot even imagine the headspace that he and so many others are in where they want to leave this Earth.  Apparently according to the World Health Organisation, Williams’ is just one of 3000 who will commit suicide today.  Just tragic.

There are organisations which I will link to at the bottom of this page which you can contact if you or someone you know is suffering from the Black Dog.   Please reach out.

To those who are saying suicide is selfish, I really don’t think that is a fair statement.  I honestly don’t think people in a suicidal frame of mind are thinking selfishly. They probably aren’t thinking of anything other than escape.  That one outcome is slightly less painful than another.
In fact I think it would be a big decision and a really difficult and scary thing to do.
Our life is the one thing we have control over so who are we to judge that person. Having said that I believe it is an absolute tragedy when anyone takes their own life.  Call it tragic, call it a waste, call it excruciatingly painful but please don’t call it selfish.

In fact it could be said that the people who say ‘How could he/she do this?  How could they do that to me?’ could be called the selfish ones.  It is all about perspective.

As far as Robin’s family goes, I wish them peace, light and kindness during this terrible time.
As far as Robin goes…..   RIP Robin Williams and fly like a genie let out of a bottle.

Oh Captain, my Captain, thank you for the laughs and thank you for the tender moments. The world is a darker place without you sir.


Robin Williams as peter Pan in Hook
Robin Williams as Peter Pan in Hook

 Tinkerbell: You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming?    

[Peter nods] 

Tinkerbell: That’s where I’ll always love you… Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.

If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone about depression or suicide please call one of the below numbers.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service:  1300 659 467
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

What is your favourite Robin Williams’ movie?

Has your life been touched by the Black Dog?    Are you OK?


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